Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Real Madrid: Five Talking Points
Real Madrid's perfect start to the La Liga season came to a juddering halt after a nervy 1-1 draw to Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames. Isco came off the bench to rescue a point for the Whites after Iker Muniain put the hosts ahead against the run of play just after the half hour mark.
Los Blancos desperately needed those three points after arch-rivals Barcelona came from behind to beat Real Sociedad earlier in the day, but were guilty of missing some really good chances. Sergio Ramos, Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio all fluffed their lines at varying points in time as Julen Lopetegui's league tenure hits its first stumbling block.
All the major talking points from the clash:
#1 Real Madrid paid the price for wastefulness
Unlike what we've seen so far from the team in the league, this game was marked by some glaring profligacy. The Merengues were undone by frustrating wastefulness for most of the game and were eventually made to pay the price for the same. It all started when Ramos blasted an effort straight into Unai Simon when the Bilbao shot-stopper spilled a save from Asensio's freekick into his path.
The Blancos skipper had nobody to put pressure on him and had the goal's mercy, yet, brazenly leathered an effort at him and wasted a gilt-edged opportunity to restore parity in the second half (and also make it three strikes in a row for the first time in his career). Until then, the visitors were denied only by the dexterity of Simon but had only themselves to blame for the failure. Asensio raced clear at goal and he too hit it straight at Simon, before Benzema blasted the follow-up into row Z.
The desperation for the winner was pretty clear, and that was actually Madrid's own undoing. This hell for a leather approach for that one winning goal saw so many chances squandered, and also resulted into some nervy moments at the back when Bilbao threatened on the counter. Benzema was a recipient of a good cross late in the game but failed to connect with it as another chance went begging.